Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

January Celebrations! January 23, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 3:34 pm

January can be a bleak month for some after the joy of holiday celebrations in December. My January birthday makes the festive and fun vibes continue on even after the Christmas season has passed and we’ve welcomed a New Year. I’m all for making my birthday into a celebration that goes beyond the actual date of January 14th. Not only my birthday, but January itself affords many other moments of celebration. It’s the small, simple joys that add up. They add some confetti to the middle-of-winter atmosphere.

We finished our 18th week of school on Thursday. We are officially halfway through our school year!!! Since we don’t have teacher conferences to reward the kids for positive feedback, we developed a reward system of our own. At the end of the 1st & 3rd quarter, the boys can select a $10 reward. At the end of the 2nd & 4th quarter, they receive a $20 reward. It’s essentially our version of paying for good grades. Making the “grade” isn’t really the focus, though. It’s a reward system based on completion of work and the general attitude of the quarter. I’m thankful my kiddos enjoy being students. It makes being their teacher rewarding and I want to honor the effort they have made.

This weekend was a fun one! The perfect mix of productivity, rest, and socializing. Friday was my weekly “clean the house” day. I do a list of chores once a week to get the house to its base level of clean (bathrooms, floors, dusting). Housecleaning day depends on our plans (and if the house should be tidy for company). Cleaning never takes a full day so there was time to rest before a late night out at book club. The post-Christmas book club is special because we all have new books to share.

Saturday, we had my forever friend, Maggie, and her family over for the the day. The kids happily played with toys while the adults played Wingspan and watched the Chiefs play the Jaguars. Maggie and I share a birthday month with our birthdays only a couple weeks apart. This last weekend was in the middle of our two birthdays so we took a moment to celebrate 37 with brownies, candles, and a song.

Sunday morning was church and then a quiet afternoon/evening. It was also Lunar New Year which our kids latched on to celebrating a few years ago. It has turned into a low-key tradition for us. Our version of Lunar New Year consists of red envelopes with a small amount of money and then Chinese food for dinner. We certainly don’t go all out, but it’s fun to make the day a little extra.

One last highlight of the week was finding a new quilt for our bedroom. Our comforter set has been showing its age for a while, but I’m so picky when it comes to bedding. The stress of finding the right bedding almost paralyzes me. In my opinion, the bed is a huge focal point of our room and I want it to look put together. Too many throw pillows or throw blankets or added layers start to overwhelm me, though. After a long search, Jeremy and I settled on a navy quilt with a herringbone pattern to it. It works well with the sheet set and throw pillows we already have. Jeremy was the one who suggested we move from gray bedding to navy and it certainly makes the bed pop on the gray wall. I’ve enjoyed seeing our color palette of blues, grays, and creamy whites expand throughout the house.

That sums up the January celebrations for now. Small things, but definitely bright spots in the midst of the cold wintertime. The holidays might be over, but the time for celebrating is not!

Wrapping up his unit on the rainforest biome!
Couldn’t help but chuckle! Apparently the rainforest spread to our coffee table!
Graham was so excited for this Animal Crossing stuffy as a part of his quarter reward!
Thankful the bedding search is finished!
Surprise snow on Saturday! It didn’t accumulate but it was fun to watch!
Birthday buddies!
 

Hello 2023 January 5, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 2:40 pm

Does the New Year sneak up on you? It always seems to sneak up on me! I get so focused on the holidays and multiple family birthdays in December. The whole month is one big celebration and then BAM! It’s January! A New Year! I try to reflect on the year I’ve had and set intentions for coming year, but my brain can’t seem to focus on these concepts until the very end of the year. I’m too busy partying in December for reflection. What are my thoughts on 2022? In some ways it was a slow year of rebuilding after pandemic conditions. We still had quite a bit of time around the house. We came back to in-person church and joined a homeschool co-op. Our family vacation to Sunriver, OR was also major highlight. Reading was top priority in 2022. I challenged myself to see how many books I could read in a year and I was shocked to find it was over 200 (thanks to that extra time at home).

Now that 2023 is here, I have some thoughts for the coming year. I try not to make super serious and intense New Year’s Resolutions. I find it beneficial to challenge myself, but my personally type does that all on it’s own without the need of a resolution (I’m an Enneagram Type 1). Since fun isn’t my normal M.O., I try to add yearly goals that bring me joy (thus, the reading goals in 2022 and baking goals in 2021).

What are some of my thoughts for 2023?

I’m working on a whole Bible in two years plans right now. It will wrap up in April and I hope to start a one-year chronological Bible afterward. I thought about doubling up and starting my new Bible while finishing my current plan, but that seemed like a lot. Starting my new Bible in April will mean that the dates are off (it starts on January 1st), but I think this will help me extend grace to myself when I miss a day. I’ll already be off from the actual date, so it’s not as big of a deal. I have a one year Bible that got in high school and have used multiple times, but I decided to get a new one. I wanted a fresh slate and I’m looking forward to the chronological format.

My reading goal for 2023 is 100 books. I’ve also decided to keep track of pages read for an additional challenge. To grow our home library, I plan on letting the boys each pick a new book once a month to purchase. We ordered the January books on Amazon and then also made our way to a popular used bookstore on January 1st. We are doing a good job of growing our home library so far in 2023! I’ll be intrigued to see what they pick each month. I’m hoping this will give me a consistent structure for purchasing kids books. This approach should keep my book shopping in check and spread it out evenly over the course of the year.

As silly as it sounds, I have hopes to watch more television in 2023. In 2022, television time meant a lower book count and I was all about seeing how many books I could read. While I do prefer books to television, I have a few favorite shows I hope to watch again. Jeremy and I started Once Upon a Time this week. This was our favorite show when it was on air and we have so many good memories surrounding this show! I also watched the Call the Midwife holiday episode last night. Television feels like such a novelty now!

Now that Christmas break is over, it’s back to school for our homeschool family. We are two weeks away from finishing our 2nd quarter. Time really has flown by! For the next two months, I’ll be co-teaching a drama class at our homeschool co-op. Each week, we plan to take a classic story to read, discuss, and recreate. We’ll incorporate drama techniques and terminology as we act out these well-known stories. Our first week went really well! Our story was The Gingerbread Man and the kids had a blast acting out the tale (lots of running and giggles). We wrapped up the class by munching on ginger cookies! Next week we’ll dive into Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

While it’s hard to believe the holiday season is behind us, I am excited for the all the possibilities that lie ahead in 2023. I’m not quite sure what to expect by I am hopeful and optimistic. Each day is an adventure, a blank page ready to be written. I hope 2023 is a good story waiting to be told!

Visiting Powell’s was a great way to kick off the New Year!
The January Books!
In a goal to add more furniture to our living room, we got a coffee table! The hope is to also add some bookshelves when they come back into stock at Ikea.
A new coffee table and four additional throw pillows in the loving room! I’m excited to “style” the coffee table soon. Of course, I’m planning for coffee table books!
Back to the school books! Don’t judge our school uniform – pajamas and comfy clothes! I promise we dress normal in public!
 

Gingerbread and Snowflakes December 14, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Getting Creative,Homeschool Adventures,Travels — Amy Scott @ 7:05 pm

We are officially on Christmas break! Christmas traditions, festive foods, time with friends and family. Bring it on! Actually, as you can guess, we’ve been in full holiday season mode this whole month. It’s just nice to take school out of the mix for a bit. I love homeschooling my boys, but this teacher is ready for a rest! The kids might be a little excited, too. They worked extra hard this week so they could start their break today instead of tomorrow. We’re all ready for a change of pace.

Some of the festivities this week revolved around gingerbread. Every year we buy the gingerbread house kit from Costco. Owen informed me it’s actually a gingerbread mansion. (It’s important to get these details correct.) I love this kit because the house (aka mansion) comes pre-assembled. No struggles with structural integrity. Hallelujah! We always purchase the kit in November to make sure it doesn’t go out of stock and the kids beg to do it right away. Waiting for December is hard. This Friday was a home day and the perfect day to dive into our gingerbread kit. My favorite part is Jeremy’s icing snowman that literally melted within minutes of him making it. It feels very authentic and a unique touch. More fun with gingerbread this week included decorating gingerbread cookies with friends and a foam gingerbread house craft for school. I’m hoping to make some gingerbread myself in the next week or so. Graham is my cinnamon kid so he is just as excited as I am for this spicy, sweet treat!

Now for the snowflake bit of the week. On Saturday, we traveled up The Bellevue Collection to watch Snowflake Lane with friends. We love this parade filled with music, dancing, costumes, special lights, and (my favorite part) snow! Well, the snow is actually soap, but the effect makes me so happy that I don’t mind it’s not the real deal. We don’t make it up to Snowflake Lane every year, so it’s always a special celebration. This was our second time meeting friends for the event and that makes it even more festive. This time we met early enough to have dinner together and then grab treats from Starbucks before finding our spot on the road. Saturday was a rainy PNW day, but thankfully, it dried up in time for main event. A visit to Snowflake Lane is always a favorite Christmas experience. “Snow” much fun!

Another highlight of the week included Graham losing his second tooth. He swallowed his first lost tooth and now his second one went down the drain! What are the odds? The kid hasn’t been able to leave a tooth for Tooth Fairy yet. Thankfully, he handled the loss well. He doesn’t care too much about the tooth as long as a dollar is the end result. Turns out the Tooth Fairy is very understanding of mishaps like this. She’s a sweetie!

I love this time of year! Christmas cards are collecting on the fridge. Christmas music is often playing the background. The yummy treats and special gatherings make each week feel like a party. One day last week, I saw a post on social media with the message “hold on to your peace” in reference to this time of year. Then the very same statement was in the devotional I read with the boys at the start of school. When a message repeats itself in my day (this time within the hour), I know it’s not a coincidence, it’s the Holy Spirit. The holiday season can get anyone amped up and stressed out – myself included. I can get overwhelmed and let anxiety rule my thoughts unless I’m intentional to hold on to my peace. We’re coming off of a busy season and I can’t say peace has been my priority. Heading into this break, I hope to schedule a little less activity and let myself (and my family) rest. The holidays don’t have to be a mad dash through a Christmas calendar obstacle course. I’m hoping to keep peace in mind as we celebrate over the next few weeks. I hope you can do the same. Merry Almost Christmas!

An Introvert in her December habitat – hot chocolate, Christmas novel, fake fire with instrumental Christmas music, and white lights on the tree. Very peaceful!
Threw together a batch of Christmas cookies for the scavenger hunt. This is around two of Christmas cookies with hopefully one or two more baking sessions to come.
The 2022 Gingerbread House (Mansion)
The snowman is my favorite part!
We braved the mall in December for Snowflake Lane (and got a Mickey Mouse calendar).
Snowflake Lane 2022
I find fake snow so magical!
Santa Sighting
Red Cups and family adventures with my forever friend!
How my kids decorate cookies… Abstract art…???
Now for the foam version… the gingerbread theme was strong this week!
 

Star Stomp and Other Christmas Adventures! December 7, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 7:19 pm

We are only one week into December… but if I recap the whole week for you, it will seem like we’ve lived an entire month in seven days! The big focus on the week was Star Stomp, our church Christmas musical. Friday evening was practice for the kids with solos and drama parts. Graham got to spend a special evening with Nana and Papa while the rest of us worked on the production. I did my final role as a “substitute star” on Friday night. I was able to practice my backstage role at Saturday’s dress rehearsal so I was ready for Sunday morning. We had some family members come on Saturday to watch the dress rehearsal and that made it extra special. Sunday’s performances were amazing! The kids did the best they’ve ever done! Owen did a fantastic job as Lil G and Graham was a super star in the choir!

Over the last week, we’ve seen snowflakes most day and even had some accumulation from time to time. Sunday morning was a slow drive into church since the roads were snowy and icy. Usually, I stay home if there is snow on the road (even a dusting), but the kids had to get to the musical… soI did it. I was nervous the whole way, but we made it! Sunday afternoon into the evening, the snow came back and started to stick. Again, we had another snowy drive down to the church. This time for a Christmas party and lucky for me, Jeremy was behind the wheel for this drive.

Tuesday was our second Christmas party of the month. This time with our co-op friends. I put together 30 gift bags filled with fidget toys and sweet treats for a Left/Right game. The kids had a blast passing the gifts right and left with the silly story I read about Santa losing his toy sack. Mr. & Mrs. Claus were surprise guests at our party. I wasn’t sure if we were going to make a Santa picture happen this year, so it was nice the opportunity came up with no effort from me. The boys requested LEGO Super Mario sets from Santa (which is no shock). We wrapped up the party with a Secret Santa gift exchange. Graham got a dragon egg that hatches and grows in water. My countertop in now Baby Dragon Command Center. Very fascinating stuff.

This week I’ve tackled my Christmas cards and got them to the mail. I also wrapped almost all of our Christmas presents. Our shopping is mostly complete except for a few small things. I’m feeling good about the Christmas to-do list. If parties, productions, and projects weren’t keeping us busy enough, our church is also hosting a scavenger hunt the entire month of December. In the midst of our commitments, our family is completing holiday challenges in the scavenger hunt app. We’re doing the best we can, but we’re currently in 10th place. We’ll need to up our game soon!

So here’s the stats – two musical practices, two musical performances, two Christmas parties, multiple days with snow, Christmas cards out, Christmas wrapping mostly done… this week has been a LOT! The good news is the rest of the month mellows out now. We have some Christmas plans and traditions to make happen, but it shouldn’t be such a mad dash. We are ready to rest up and enjoy a bit of Christmas vacation right around the corner!

Making mini-snowmen for the Scavenger Hunt. Yes, he is barefoot and crazy! Good thing we weren’t out for long.
So proud of all the hard work these two put into Star Stomp! Such a memorable choir experience!
This musical had so many fun elements like star glasses and gloves that react to black light. For one song the kids did motions with light tubes and for another song we had ribbon dancers.
Snapped a pic on the monitor of my hubby rapping while I worked backstage.
Ready for our co-op Christmas party! Santa hats, Christmas shirts, jingle bells – check!
Gotta wear my Christmas sweater as much as I can this month!
Such a fun surprise to have Santa and Mrs. Claus at our Christmas party!
Taught the boys how to make paper snowflakes today as a part of the scavenger hunt. Owen made two, Graham made six… I made…
I made a dozen paper snowflakes. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I forgot how much fun they are to make!
 

December Arrived with a Flurry December 1, 2022

December arrived with a flurry! A flurry of snow that is! As I write this post a light dusting of snow is melting in my yard. I’m a little sad there wasn’t more, but I’ll happily enjoy whatever snow we get. Ever since Monday, we’ve seen snowflakes falling throughout the day. I love looking out the window as the flurries fall. The end of November has also been a flurry – a flurry of activity!!!

Where to start? On Wednesday, the 22nd, we decorated the house for Christmas. Jeremy worked a half day and since our Thanksgiving weekend was full to the brim, this seemed like the best time to make the merriment happen. Decorating the house is almost a holiday in itself for our family. We sipped hot apple cider and listened to Christmas music while adding Christmas cheer all over. The boys select an ornament each year and it’s no surprise that they chose Luigi and Yoshi from Nintendo Super Mario. We added a Mario ornament to our big tree and I just ordered a Grinch ornament today because our family (specifically Graham) has an obsession with the Grinch this year.

We spent most of Thanksgiving Day with Jeremy’s family. We enjoyed good food, a bunco tournament (I won so many prizes for being the biggest loser), and yard games. We finished the day with an untraditional pizza dinner with my parents. The rest of the holiday weekend was filled with family, friends, and shopping. We hosted a sleepover with some of the cousins Friday into Saturday. We had friends over for dinner on Sunday. We hosted a play date on Monday. I can’t remember the last time we’ve had company over five days in a row. Wow! I got the baulk of the Christmas shopping done online with Black Friday sales and we visited a few stores Saturday afternoon. I’m feeling very good about where my Christmas shopping is at now. Even though November wasn’t over, I was starting to feel behind!

Sunday was Christmas musical practice and the start of Advent. The church calendar is running our lives at this moment! Owen had drama practice for the musical last night and he’ll have another practice tomorrow. Saturday is a dress rehearsal for the whole choir and then Sunday is showtime! I’m so excited to see Owen and Graham preform in their first Christmas musical. I’m so proud of the whole team – kids and leaders alike. It’s been a wild ride! It will be neat to see it all come together on Sunday.

I taught a Christmas cookie decorating class on Tuesday for our homeschool co-op. It went so well (considering I didn’t know what to expect). I provided all the decorating supplies and the students brought cookies to frost. I let the group know in advance what cookies I would be demonstrating so they could bring similar cookies to class. These kids focused intently on their decorating and their cookies turned out amazing. Our co-op could open a bakery! I loved listening to Christmas music play on my portable speaker while kids creatively decorated cookie after cookie. Our boys were worn out after the big weekend, so I kept them home from the cookie class. When I got home, we pulled out all the supplies and did mini-version of the class with our family.

That sums up the flurry of activity we’ve had this last week. We are headed into another big weekend with the Christmas musical right around the corner. I love how fun and festive the activities are this time of year. After a busy season for our family, I’m also looking forward to slowing down and savoring the season over the next few weeks! Happy first day of December!

Making the house merry and bright!
The Christmas season is officially here!
Graham is a whole Christmas vibe!
The Start of Advent
Prepping for my cookie class on Monday night. I had plenty of frosting left over, but better safe than sorry!
Snapshots from Tuesday’s cookie adventures!
Studying the layers of the Earth this week.
Not a bad way to start December! Let it snow!
 

1,001 November 16, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 8:07 pm

I apparently missed a milestone. My last post was my 1,000th on Amy Scott’s Thoughts! Woo hoo! WordPress notified me after the post was officially published. I’ve been blogging for over a decade, but I wasn’t keeping track of my post total. So, there you go. Here’s my 1,001st blog post! That can be a milestone too? Right? I’m going to claim it. Let’s celebrate!

While this blog started with intentions of bring brilliant (ha ha) and strategic with my posts… it’s definitely morphed with time. A decade ago (before kids when I had more brain cells), I hoped to share deep thoughts about life and ministry. Now, it’s mostly family updates and the occasional book-related post. I love sharing our family adventures and I love writing about books. Someday, I could see myself fully committing to the book blogging scene. Currently, I’m not hemming myself in, though. I don’t want to stick to one topic. I want all the options… which is why I post about homeschooling, baking, reading, travels, and the ordinary, everyday stuff of life. This blog is a bright spot in my week. It might not make me internet-famous, but it does make me happy. That’s all that matters. I hope it brings a little joy to you, too.

So, what’s been happening this week? This weekend was quite full… All good things, just a lot of things. I met up with a friend locally for hot chocolate on Friday morning. We caught up on life over holiday drinks at Starbucks. Friend time + a red cup = a happy Amy! I also drove up north to have “linner” (aka dinner at 3pm) at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse with my forever friend, Maggie. Two fun friend experiences in one day was a rare treat! Saturday, our family helped a family member move. It was a full day of moving boxes, organizing, and building furniture. I was very proud of my boys. They were super helpful! Sunday morning was spent at church practicing for the Christmas musical. Owen has his lines all memorized and he rocks his solo every time. I’m so excited to see him perform in December. He has worked so hard! Graham, too! Graham smiles from the front row of the choir. He has every song memorized and is super focused when it comes to doing the motions. It’s sweet to watch them shine! Sunday afternoon, we had family over to prepare for hunting season and they stayed for dinner. It was a big weekend, but full of good times with great people!

You’ll see pictures below of the ordinary moments from this last week. Baking projects, science experiments, puzzles, collecting wooly worms on walks… I’m so thankful the quieter days when we are home – doing school, hanging out, just being together. The weather is cold!!! I busted out the flannel sheets on Monday. I’m bundling up everyday for afternoon walks in the cold sunshine. The chill in the air makes being tucked inside feel extra cozy, like a safe haven. I just love ordinary days. I can appreciate a busy weekend, but I’m all for a slow week at home! It’s a good balance!

Owen asked for cake. So I made cake. It’s not too hard to twist my arm.
Pizza and pizookies at BJ’s are becoming a tradition of ours!
Such helpful movers! They think U-Haul trucks are the coolest!
A refresher on pollination with a pipe cleaner insect.
This was the first of three puzzles we did on Monday. Apparently, Monday had a puzzle vibe.
Fall art with oil pastels. Owen went a bit abstract on us…
Bring on flannel sheet season!
Graham bundled up to join me for a walk this week. He collected a wooly worm along the way.
 

Feels Like November November 9, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 1:39 pm

We had an unseasonably warm October and it messed with my head a bit. When the weather clears and I go outside, I’m shocked that it’s in the low 40s and not in the 70s. I keep reminding myself that it’s November. This is what November is supposed to feel like.

Along with the cooler temperatures, we’ve had our first blustery day and power outage. Friday, it poured all day long! Our plans to run errands seemed foolish. We should have taken a boat to the stores instead of our van. Friday night, after we were all tucked into bed, the power went out. Apparently, the wind picked up after the rain. Our kids don’t sleep well when the power goes out. The boys ended up sleeping in our bedroom on the floor. It was a family adventure! I’m left wondering why the power mostly goes out at night?!?! Why not in the morning or afternoon when our sleep isn’t interrupted?

Two very special celebrations happened last week. Thursday was the end of our first quarter of school. The boys selected grabber toys as their quarterly reward and they were thrilled with something new to play with. They’ve discovered the grabbers are especially handy for retrieving items under the couch. Thursday was also Red Cup Day where Starbucks switches to their holiday drink cups. Red Cup Day is a holiday in our family. Every year we make our way to Starbucks to celebrate. The boys and I got drinks and treats and then we made a special delivery to Jeremy at work.

Our big family focus right now is the Christmas musical at church. We have less than a month until the performances! Owen was given the part of “Lil G” (the angel Gabriel). He has both a singing solo and a speaking part. We are very excited for him! Our days are spent practicing his lines and every van ride has the practice CD blaring. Being a part of kid’s choir is new for me as well as the boys. It’s been a fun experience for all of us!

I’m still sort of in denial that it’s November, but the weather keeps reminding me we are here. I’ve pulled out my snowflake dishes (since it’s cold enough). We’ve started listening to Christmas music (not just the musical). I enjoy all the autumn vibes of November – it’s cold outside and cozy inside. I love preparing for Christmas. I’ve never had a conflict with Thanksgiving and Christmas. I embrace them equally in November. It’s a good feeling!

Read Cup Day Special Delivery
Enjoying some special treats
Wrapping up the quarter with a science project. Owen’s temperate deciduous forest biome.
Graham had a blast bowling with Jeremy and his church buddies on Sunday afternoon. Sadly, Owen had a 24 hour tummy bug, so we stayed home to rest. Cold/flu season is the worst!
Learning about the water cycle with Graham. Science experiments are the highlight of the school week.
 

Welcome November November 2, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Getting Creative,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 6:33 pm

The start of November always feels like a finish line to me. October is my favorite month of the year, without a doubt. October is also a very full month for our family. After wrapping up birthday month and a major ministry event (Fall Fest on Halloween), I feel like taking a deep breath when November arrives. We did it! We had all the fun! We went big! We gave it our all! It was good! And now it’s November! *Sigh* My husband pointed out that November is equally “big” in it’s own right, but before the November pace picks up, I’m just going to enjoy this moment.

October actually ended a little quieter than we expected. Jeremy got a cold over the weekend, so we hunkered down at home to rest. With a big event on Monday night, we needed to be pro-active in the recovery department. I was sad to cancel our very fun plans with friends, but it was good to dedicate two full days to resting. It was time well spent.

We always end October with a bang. A big part of children’s ministry is event planning. Jeremy knows how to throw a party (with help, of course). The theme for our annual Fall Fest was Galaxy Adventures (outer space). The whole building and all the activities revolved around this out-of-this-world theme. It was nice to move this event indoors again after two years of shifting for the pandemic (we did a drive-thru event in 2020 and an outdoor event in 2021). Our kids had a blast and even dressed on theme with their costumes (astronaut costumes we recycled from 2020 – Owen’s barely fit, oops). The black light room was a favorite and Owen enjoyed helping Nana & Papa hand out prizes at the prize wheel. Almost 300 kids attended, so I would say that was quite some party! Way to go, Jeremy (and team)!

November 1st is always a bit of a recovery day. We’re all tired from the big day and late night. Yesterday, we had co-op and Owen had piano lessons, but all I really wanted to do was hibernate! Thankfully, we had a very chill evening last night and we’re starting to come out of the holiday haze! And there you have it. October is in the rearview mirror and November is staring us down. Ready, set, go!

Family game night. Qwixx is the game of choice right now. Owen got it for his birthday and is obsessed!
Candy corn blondies are a holiday tradition!
Space Panda (?!) Amy with her astronauts!
We weren’t quite sure what Jeremy was – NASA personnel? Engineer? Tech person? Maybe we should call him the Command Leader.
Enjoying the themed games in the black light room.
The show must go on. No matter how tired, we did school on Tuesday morning. Here is Graham’s science experiment – making a cloud!
 

The Many Adventures of October! October 23, 2022

October is such a fun month for our family! Our adventures this week included a chocolate fountain at our church growth group, a birthday meal with family, Graham’s 7th birthday, a trip to the Oregon Zoo, hosting book club, and pumpkin carving! The whole month feels like one adventure after the next. It’s been a bit of a pace – keeping up with all the good times. I love all the activities of October, but I also look forward to the hibernation vibes of November. We’ve had an unseasonably warm and sunny October. It’s been perfect for adventuring! Now the rain moves in this week and I’m honestly ready for it. Give me a reason to hunker down at home. I’m all for it!!!

Chocolate fountain at church! Then the kids got to bounce off their energy in the bounce houses.
Celebrating a belated birthday for Papa and an early birthday for Graham!
Graham started his birthday with a candle and a song!
Birthday candle and song – take two!
Mountain goats at the Oregon Zoo
Still not too old for the zoo train
I loved sharing cookies, cider, and books on Friday night. It was my turn to host book club and I went for all the fall vibes!
Owen’s Bowser pumpkin! This year we carved our homegrown pumpkins. Owen and I helped clean out the pumpkins, but Jeremy was the MVP who did all the carving magic!
Graham’s Goomba! Graham supervised most of the pumpkin carving, but wasn’t into getting his hands dirty.
 

First Co-Op Field Trip October 15, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Travels — Amy Scott @ 5:24 pm

We had our first co-op field trip this last week. We visited the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery in Salkum, WA. It was super educational. I was surprised by how hands-on and informational it was. I’m not sure what I expected, but it surpassed my apparently low-bar expectations. We started the experience by watching the salmon get sorted at the top of the fish ladder. All the kids who wanted to participate got to help sort the salmon. Owen loved the experience and declared he could see himself sorting salmon when he grows up. Graham did not want to sort the salmon. That’s okay, too.

After sorting the salmon, we learned about the complete lifecycle of a salmon. From there, we went to feed the fry, which I learned are small salmon. The kids got to grab a handful of fish food and toss it into the tank. All the fry made the water splash as they gobbled up their meal. We all reacted to the feeding frenzy. I didn’t watch the last part of the presentation too closely. There is a viewing window in the visitor center where you can watch the employees harvest the eggs of the spawning salmon. This process was explained very well and the kids were fascinated. I just didn’t need the visual!

We played around with the visitor center displays for a while after the tour ended. Soon, it was lunchtime and part of our group made our way down to the river shore to eat sack lunches on logs. The kids wrapped up our field trip by throwing all sorts of rocks and sticks into the river. Nothing quite like being kid – throwing rocks into the river on a sunny day. Life is full of simple pleasures.

Field trips are one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. I love adventuring with my boys. We all learned so much at the salmon hatchery. It was an unforgettable experience. The rest of our week has been quieter. The boys combined their birthday money to buy the biggest LEGO set they’ve ever had. 1,216 pieces. It took them about 24 hours to complete it (with sleep in the middle, obviously). They are so proud of themselves! We had friends over for tacos last night. I attended a baby shower today. Tomorrow we’ll do a chocolate fountain and inflatbles with our church growth group. We are thankful for friends, community, field trips, and October sunshine!

Owen the Salmon Sorter!
Graham would only touch the plastic salmon…
A scenic lunch spot
So excited for the biggest LEGO set they’ve ever built!
Castle complete!